Special Issue "Probing Novel In Vivo Neurodegenerative Mechanisms in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementias Using State-Of-The-Art Magnetic Resonance Imaging Approaches"

A special issue of Brain Sciences (ISSN 2076-3425).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 May 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Marcelo Febo

Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Evelyn F. And William L. McKnight Brain Institute, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1 352 294 4911
Interests: functional MRI; network analysis; drug use disorders; animal models

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The histopathological hallmarks of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) include the accumulation of extracellular plaques and tangles and an age-progressive marked loss of neurons. Recently, there has been a growing interest in the changes that occur in the brain of AD patients at earlier preclinical stages. It is thought that alternative network-level aberrant neuronal activity changes precede neuronal loss and perhaps represent part of an initial cascade of events ultimately resulting in later-stage neurodegeneration. Such network-level dysfunctions are thought to underlie early signs of mild cognitive impairment. There is evidence of synaptic deficits in hippocampal areas, which have been mostly described in animal models and may impair neuronal communication within and between brain regions that play roles in cognition. Based on the potentially important role of the widespread, network-level dysfunction that occurs in early AD and related dementias, neuroimaging methods are vital in uncovering novel mechanisms underlying these disorders. For instance, patients with AD at advanced stages show reduced functional connectivity in default mode and salience network areas compared to unaffected aged-matched individuals, whereas early AD is observed to entail increased functional connectivity, particularly in salience network structures. These findings illustrate how neuroimaging can reveal functional and structural biomarkers useful to monitor the progression of AD. The present call for papers for this Special Issue invites articles that apply novel neuroimaging approaches to understand AD. Neuroimaging approaches may include magnetic resonance-based methods, positron emission tomography, fluorescence imaging methods, and single cell microscopy. Ultimately, the integration of these and other neuroimaging methods may be key to revealing new and important mechanisms of AD and related dementias.

Prof. Dr. Marcelo Febo
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Brain Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 650 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Dementia
  • Animal Models
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Diffusion Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Conventional Structural Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Differentiating Chronic Disorders of Consciousness
Brain Sci. 2018, 8(8), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/brainsci8080144
Received: 9 July 2018 / Revised: 26 July 2018 / Accepted: 3 August 2018 / Published: 5 August 2018
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Differential diagnosis of unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS) and minimally conscious state (MCS) is one of the most challenging problems for specialists who deal with chronic disorders of consciousness (DOC). The aim of the current study was to develop a conventional MRI-based scale and
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Differential diagnosis of unresponsive wakefulness syndrome (UWS) and minimally conscious state (MCS) is one of the most challenging problems for specialists who deal with chronic disorders of consciousness (DOC). The aim of the current study was to develop a conventional MRI-based scale and to evaluate its role in distinguishing chronic disorders of consciousness (Disorders of Consciousness MRI-based Distinguishing Scale, DOC-MRIDS). Data were acquired from 30 patients with clinically diagnosed chronic disorders of consciousness. All patients underwent conventional MRI using a Siemens Verio 3.0 T scanner, which included T2 and T1 sequences for patient assessment. Diffuse cortical atrophy, ventricular enlargement, sulcal widening, leukoaraiosis, brainstem and/or thalamus degeneration, corpus callosum degeneration, and corpus callosum lesions were assessed according to DOC-MRIDS criteria, with a total score calculation. The ROC-analysis showed that a reasonable threshold DOC-MRIDS total score was 5.5, that is, patients with DOC-MRIDS total score of 6 and above were classified as UWS and 5 and below as MCS, with sensitivity of 82.4% and specificity of 92.3%. The novel structural MRI-based scale for the assessment of typical brain lesions in patients with chronic DOC is relatively easy to apply, and provides good specificity and sensitivity values for discrimination between UWS and MCS. Full article

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